Sunday, December 29, 2013

and then fade to black

I have a confession to make right now.

I am a Carolyn Friedlander fan girl. If she touches it, I will probably like it.

She is super sweet and awesome (I met her this fall). I sort of wish we were friends. I even got her to sign a block for the back of my Botanics quilt.

When buzz about her new line Botanics started making its way around the inter webs I knew I would like it. Some people call this a line of "blenders" but I sort of hate that term. I see this as a line of dynamic prints with great hue saturation (probably not saying that right).

This is the kind of fabric line that makes my life easy. I like to work with colors, I am not necessarily attracted to prints in my quilting. I tend to buy fancy multi-colored prints and then never use them. These single color prints are the types of fabrics I will use.

Also there are metallics and I like shiny things. This is metallics done right y'all.

I bought a charm pack of Botanics from someone on Instagram (check me out @stitchingandbaon) right after quilt market. As soon as I spread out the charms I saw the saturation spectrum and my orderly instincts felt the need to sort! Sort all of the things!

So I went from there, working with what I had…. which happened to include a couple of charm packs of Bella bleached white.

Then I added the negative space and here we are.

I heart you Carolyn Friedlander. Keep doing what you are doing. That is all.

I stamped my label onto the back of this quilt before quilting. This means I did not have to hand stitch a label anywhere. What do you think of this? Keep it going? Crazy sauce? Ambivalence?

Love you friends! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and are ready for an epic New Year.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Fade to Black
Size: 58" x 68"
Fabrics: All of the Botanics line, made by Robert Kaufman and designed by Carolyn Friendlander, Moda Solids Bleached White, and some Kate Spain (couldn't tell you the line name)
Pattern: My own (using the stitch and flip triangle technique)
Finished: December 2013
Quilting: Spiral from the center using Aurifil thread

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cat Lady (Meow) Quilt.

Today is a big day. I worked my last day before Christmas. I get a week off now. I have an unbelievably huge pile of sewing projects and Christmas cookies.


I also get to show you my finished Cat Lady quilt top. Meow. For the Ladies Night Challenge.

This quilt was inspired by my Ladies Night bundle (still available at Sew Lux).


It was also inspired by some amazing Elizabeth Hartman and Aneela Hoey cat quilts.  I elected to paper piece mine (because meow I hate measuring) and the sizing is totally different. If you are interested I could probably share my techniques. Let me know.

Finally, while I am talking about inspiration, I would like to thank Max the cat. He is the fuzziest meow cat in the world (sorry other cats) and provides the ultimate inspiration.

Each block measures 11.5 inches finished and the quilt is about 58 inches by 58 inches. It is now meow basted and ready to quilt.

In other news, we decided to extend the deadline for the challenge to December 31st. Now is the time friends! Sew something wonderful for yourself. Enter the drawing. There are fabulous prizes!

I love you all. Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

PS - Meow.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Star Finisher

I finished this quilt. Then I gave it away.

It was always for Meredith and Eric. A present to celebrate the love story of two dear friends.

Want to hear about their love story? Of course you do (PS - Meredith reads this blog from time to time, so, hey friend!).

Meredith became my friend when we were introduced at a party couple of years ago. It was basically friendship at first sight for me. I had to do some work to convince her. Well, as in I had maybe one too many cocktails and told her I thought we should be friends while we were talking. She thought I was loony. But, we were right for each other. Fast forward a couple of years and we are still friends (heart you, girl).

Meredith is the one who made me the quilty egg (and inspired me to make an egg-y quilt, see story here).

Meredith met this boy (Eric) and they were sort of friends. Then they took an intensive French class together and sparks flew or something like that. They knew it was right.

Then Derek and I started hanging out with the two of them. They were adorable. As a friend, sometimes you have a gut feeling about a guy your friend is dating, sometimes this is bad…. sometimes it is warm and fuzzy (you ALL know what I mean). Derek and I both had fuzzy feelings about these two.

The thing is Meredith and Eric knew this thing they had was special. They decided that they were going to get married. That spring (2013). Approximately one year after they started dating.

I immediately knew I was going to make them a quilt.

So, I asked the ladies from my Make it Modern Bee to help me make blocks (you know, so it would go faster). I received all of their gorgeous blocks right on time last summer and promptly did not finish the quilt until November (2013). If you didn't want to do the math that is about 7-8 months after the wedding.

Something about a quilt made out of love to celebrate love makes this special.


Quilt Stats:
Size: Big (75"+ x 75"+)
Block: Lone Starburst (by Six White Horses)
Bee Mates/Block Makers: Me! and the ladies from the Make it Modern Bee (Kelie, Samantha, Renae, Kelleigh, Becky, Karen, Jennifer, Jen, Audrey, Licet, and Jamie)
Fabric: Boy I wish I could tell you the funky print on the back is from Ikea, the solids are all Kona.
Quilted: By me on my home sewing machine in a classic infinity loop with Aurifil Thread.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ladies Night: Show me Yours

Hey Friends!

It is December 11th. I am officially freaking out about Christmas. I really only have two gifts left to make, but it seems like I am facing a never ending battle.

I feel like an elf in a sweatshop.

Good news everyone! (name that show?) I am done traveling until 2014!

Other piece of good news! It is time to show off (or start on) your Ladies Night Challenge projects. My challenge is coming along swimingly. For challenge info check out this super informative post.

Seriously, it is a little bit of pink and teal sanity. I am calling it my cat lady quilt. I will fill in the details when I finish the top. Clearly, it is epic.

Today is the first day to link up finished projects. You have until December 23rd (time that I clearly need).

If you have a finished project (quilt top must be finished top and anything else should just be finished) made from one of the three color choices, just head over here and enter in your linky info. Remember, you don't need a blog to enter! One entry per color way. If you need help with anything (including tough love or tender encouragement) drop me a line.

I promise mine will be finished by December 23rd.

Also, today I tell you what nifty things you could win if you link it up! We will be selecting three winners by random from anyone who has finished a project.

One winner will get a custom wonky triangle pouch made by me especially for them (first noted here). It will be pencil sized and made from a color of your choice with a first name of your choice. This is super limited edition (as in, I don't sell them and only my bestest friends get them, do you want to be my bestest friend?).

Another winner will get a set of three patterns from May Chappell, a super talented and amazing designer, quilter, and friend. The patterns will include her Lazy Sunday, Designer Star, and Fantastically Fussy. This would be an awesome score!

The last lucky winner will get a $30 gift certificate to Sew Lux Fabrics. Chrissy has some amazing stuff. I am trying really hard to not click on this and go shopping right now. It is that good.

So link up! Win something! See the other awesome makes. Make friend.

Love you,

PS - I have actual FINISHED quilts to show off someday. When I have time. When the sweatshop closes for the season?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ladies Night. Challenge Issued.

Sometimes in the midst of the crazy something amazing happens.

A couple of weeks ago (a long, long time ago), in a land far away (in the North Carolina mountains), I began my clam quilt. I fell in love with the colors.

Fast forward to the following weekend, I went to Sew Lux World headquarters to help Chrissy with some stuff. Before I even realized it was happening, I was pulling bolts off the shelves. We were smitten and decided to make a bundle.

Then Lee (over here at May Chappell) was smitten too.

So Chrissy issued a challenge. Who can say no to a challenge?

We decided you all should play too.

Don't say no. Don't say you have too much sewing to do for Christmas. Do this for yourself. Do it to maintain your sanity.

Make something amazing.

Because a challenge has to have some guidelines, here are ours:

Challenge Rules:

1. Make a project with one of the three Ladies Night Bundles (or use your stash to make your own ladies night bundle in one of the three color schemes).

2. Link up your finished project on the Sew Lux blog by December 23th (the link will open December 10th). The project must be finish. A quilt must be a completed top and anything else (tote, pouch, pillow, etc.) should be completely finished

Three winners will be announced on the Sew Lux blog on December 26th. Like a Christmas present! Just for you!

Prizes will include gift certificates to Sew Lux Fabrics, patterns, some handmade goodies, and surprises (spoiler alert, I am going to make something epic to giveaway, 'cause that is what I do).

Easy, we are not big on rules!

Here are the color ways:

The Ladies Night (curated by me). 

Ladies Night 2 (by Lee).

Ladies Night 3 (by Chrissy).

Do it. Make something amazing and sew it off (see what I did there with the pun?).

I may even start today. I know what I am making. It will be epic. We are all on the instagram and you should play there too if you can/want to. I am @stitchingandbacon and we are going to be using #isewwithsewlux and #ladiesnightchallenge

PS - All of these pictures were taken by Chrissy (except the one with the clams, that's me). Love you Chrissy! Lee designed the logo. I smiled and looked pretty.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bacon is Sewing in Between the Traveling.

Good evening my friends!

I am typing this post from my lovely Atlanta hotel room. It has been a little nuts in bacon-ville recently.

I have been traveling a bunch for work. As in I have worked in three states in the past three weeks, next week I am going to make it an even four (in case you were curious, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

In the past three days I have walked 19 miles. Probably more. Maybe that does not sound like a lot, but I was carrying an instrument and wearing wellies (my fault for forgetting the other pair of acceptable shoes).

But who cares about all that? I sure don't.

I have been sewing.

I turned these:

Into this. 

Then I did this:

and this happened.

But I recovered and got some of this nonsense into one piece. 

That may be as close as we get to a play-by-play without a tutorial. Phew.

I met Carolyn Friedlander. Then I tried not to be too annoying/act starstruck. She was amazingly sweet and such a treat to talk with.

She showed us stuff she made. It sort of blew my mind. I wanted all of the patterns and I wanted to make all of the things. Actually, I just wanted her things. Just perfect.

She signed a quilt block for my new botanics quilt (see above).

I am failing at keeping myself from overcommitting. I will share the results from this failure soon. They are sort of epic and amazing. There are some awesome things going around the internet (okay, that wins the general statement of the year award).

Love you all. Love your work. Keep it up.

See you soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I have this group of friends. I made another bag.

I have this group of friends.

We all met at Sew South last year and then we reconvened last summer to sew up in the mountains (at the very kind invitation of Lee). Somehow the group just clicked. It was magical. I seriously have not laughed so hard in my life, nor have I worried so much about flood insurance.

This winter, since we were meeting two months before Christmas, we naturally decided to do a Christmas gift exchange (#averysurmachristmas).

It was a blind swap but you know a lot of these ladies figured out out who had their names.

I am sneaky though. I had Lee (May Chappell) and I knew what I was going to make her as soon as I got her name. I totally convinced her someone else had her name and even had her help me pick out some of her gifts.

Lee seemed to like my It's a Cinch Tote. So I made her one. Basically the same way, in fact I referenced my notes.

Fabric outside is Echino dots and Essex Linen. The main lining is Art Gallery Indian Summer (ask me how easy it is to used art gallery's slippery fabric in a zipper), and the whole thing is done with Aurifil thread. Mostly it went pretty well, except for the part where I had to re-topstitch the zipper three times, broke a whole pack of leather needles, and broke my walking foot. Otherwise it was perfect.

I also made her a little pouch (in a hotel room in West Virginia, important fact).

I got her a kitten calendar too, but she didn't take a picture of that.

All of these pictures were stolen, with permission, from Lee. Who finishes swap gifts when it is still light enough to take pictures? I bow to your superior sewing and time management.

PS - I am in Maryland again this week. Currently, I am watching Duck Dynasty.

PPS - I have two boss level quilts in progress right now. I can't wait to show you pictures. I also am stoked to have time to work on them. Teaser, I am sewing curves.

PPS - I am going on three trips this month and I am likely to go on two next month for work. Probably about 4 states. Not glamorous at all.

PPPS - Chrissy made me stuff and it was awesome. See below photo (no photos of the other stuff, cause I am silly). Seriously though, everything was awesome.